These are all photos from past solar and housing projects. Enjoy!
Topics below include:
Solar water distiller projects
Straw bale houses
Solar Water Distiller Projects
Sharon Cornet was Project Manager for EPSEA (El Paso Solar Energy Association) in 2000-2003 and installed over 100 solar water distillers in west TX, southern NM, and Colonias in Anapra and south Juarez, Mexico.
How to Make a Solar Water Distiller (free info and links for kits and construction plans)
Supporting article on past projects: http://www.txses.org/reflector/reflector-summer-2001.pdf
BorderPACT/CONAHEC Solar Distiller Project Report with water issues tables, photos, project details:
Foster, R., SWTDI New Mexico State University, Amos, W., SolAqua, Inc. and Eby, S., El Paso Solar Energy Association, 2005: Ten Years of Solar Distillation Application Along the U.S.-Mexico Border
Gupta, B., Vogel, G., Amos, W., and Cormier, M., SolAqua, Inc. and Eby-Martin, S., and Foster, R., El Paso Solar Energy Association, 2003: Solar Distillation Applied in Texas
Eby-Martin, S., and Tirres, A., El Paso Solar Energy Association, and Foster, R., SWTDI New Mexico State University, 2002. Solar Water Purification for the Border: EPA Grant for Solar Distillation, PDF version http://www.sunstar-solutions.com/EPA final pres.ppt
Eby-Martin, S., El Paso Solar Energy Association, and Foster, R., SWTDI New Mexico State University, 2001. Solar Water Purification for the Border: Solar Distillation, PDF version http://epsea.org/pdf/borderpact.pdf
Eby-Martin, S., El Paso Solar Energy Association, and Foster, R., SWTDI New Mexico State University, March, 2001. Targeting Drinking Water in Border Colonias: A Solar Still Development Resource url:
http://conahec.org/conahec/borderpact/grants/1999/Region 3/Region 3B (English).htm
Solar ovens are easy to make. They can also be made out of recycled materials like cardboard and school glue rather inexpensively. See my page for more info on solar ovens and to download the solar cookers free ebook.
CERM (Center for Environmental Resource Management) at UTEP in El Paso, Texas was in charge of a composting toilet (some of them with solar design). A large composting toilet (CT) also is located at Tom Mays park in the Franklin Mountains, El Paso (no picture). We made and used a CT at the straw bale house we built in Nebraska, too, but the only picture of it (with my little son sitting on it at age four) is in the book: Composting Toilet System Book, The Paperback – Apr 1 1999 by David Del Porto (Author)
Papercrete (fibercrete) with Mike McCain
In the early 2000’s when I was learning about dome homes and newer methods for construction I got to meet Mike McCain. Mike was one of the “Papercrete Guru’s” for alternative fibercrete (recycled paper and cement) construction methods.
Straw Bale Houses
Tierra Madre is the Straw Bale housing community (sweat equity homes) in the Sunland Park, NM area
Our Straw Bale home in Nebraska is the one in the black and white newspaper photo. We built it in the 1990’s and sold it in 1999 to a friend who still owns it today and lives there. The walls were R-50 and it included passive solar house plans for the design and layout, which also included earthtubes for passive cooling. Our only heat was a wood stove, which we also used as a backup to the water heater. We had a composting toilet, greywater system (later a septic tank was installed), and alternative foundation (green treated lumber and gravel) on the house. The wall systems were compression-tension walls, which had 1/2″ steel allthread running through the walls that connected the foundation to the roof plate.
Alternative Construction with Tires, Bottles, Fidobe, etc.
These locations range from Columbus to Taos, NM, etc.
One of the easiest ways to save up to 60% of the cost of heating a home is via passive solar home design. Cooling a house using earth-sheltered design and earthtubes is also excellent due to the stable temperatures of the earth.
My free ebook for download on Kindle is through Amazon’s Kindleunlimited membership, which covers passive solar home design, how to make earthtubes, a storm shelter, hurricane proof and tornado resistant homes, solar and wind power, how to make a solar oven, and how to make a solar water distiller.
The paperback version and full description of the book is also available here.
I am currently revamping my solar book above and will be making new and improved versions for free PDF download access as this year continues. Join our newsletter on the right hand column to receive updates so you can get your free copies as they come available!